Asia

Nepal police shoot dead Indian protester at border

Nepalese protesters throw rocks at police during clashes near the Nepal-India border at Birgunj, some 90 km south of Kathmandu, on November 2, 2015 Image copyright STR
Image caption Officials in Nepal say hundreds of stone-throwing protesters attacked a police post

An Indian man has been killed after Nepali police fired on hundreds of protesters blocking a border crossing with India.

Police were trying to clear the blockade, which has cut supply lines of fuel and other goods, when protesters attacked a police post at Birgunj.

Reports say the man was shot in the head and later died in hospital.

The demonstrators, mainly from southern lowland minority groups, are angry about Nepal's new constitution.

Communities from the lowlands believe that Nepal's proposed new provinces will lead to their political marginalisation.

These concerns have led to violent clashes around Nepal since August, leaving dozens dead.

The protester killed on Monday was identified as Ashish Kumar Ram, from Raxaul in the Indian state of Bihar, local officials said.

Local police chief Rajubabu Shrestha told the BBC the protesters had entered Nepali territory from India, throwing stones. He said seven protesters and nine police had been injured.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Demonstrators have blocked two of the main border crossings from India, shutting off vital supply lines

Nepal's Home Ministry Spokesman Laxmi Dhakal said two Indian nationals were arrested after they tried to obstruct police who were removing tents at the border.

India said it was "deeply concerned" by events.

"Issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved by force.

"Causes underlying the present state of confrontation need to addressed by the government of Nepal credibly and effectively," the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, there were conflicting reports about the police crackdown. One report said police baton-charged demonstrators forcing them to remove the blockade, while another said authorities removed the tents of sleeping protesters and lined up trucks to pass through the crossing.

Police official Hobindra Bogati told the Associated Press news agency that more than 200 trucks and other vehicles had crossed from Birgunj in Nepal to Raxaul and more were lining up.

But, on the Indian side, thousands of trucks have not been able to cross over to Nepal for almost two months. Reports said the trucks bringing fuel and other goods to Nepal were still blocked by Indian custom officials.

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